Again today — the third time in less nine days — Ryan will go out for another appointment. The early morning hours were spent getting him and his supplies prepared for the trip. It’s crazy how much must be done for what is otherwise a simple twenty minute examination.
At 7:20 the ambulance transport arrived and we were on our way… yet again.
Today’s appointment is with an eye surgeon to discuss our options for meeting two objectives: 1) Protecting Ryan’s eyes from exposure damage, and 2) Allowing the most visual stimulus possible while doing so. When we left Johns Hopkins last Tuesday I felt comfortable with their recommendation to partially stitch his lids shut. The medical term for this procedure is tarsorrhaphy. Actually, I still do think this is the best choice.
I put a lot of trust in Johns Hopkins, but I felt they came up a bit short in examining him. For example, they only used a cobalt blue light and magnifying glass to view the surface of the eyes. This is fine and can show damage, but not the depth of the damage. For this, a slit lamp is necessary. I just need to convince myself that this is not only appropriate, but the best resolution. Knowing Hopkins could have been done more (easily) leaves doubt in my mind.
I guess what I’m debating is if Ryan’s eyes are getting the protection needed from the drops and ointments, rendering this procedure as overkill. I don’t think this is the case, but I need convinced.
We are now back from the appointment. The Ophthalmic Surgeon, Dr. Scott, agrees that the eyes are at risk and a tarsorrhaphy is necessary. Before this, though, he wants Ryan to see a retinal specialist. The logic is sound as to why. He wants to make sure Ryan still has them firmly attached. If not — although unlikely — they can be reconnected before his eyes are partially closed. If, let’s say, the retina is worse than expected then it might be wise to completely suture the eye(s) shut as the retina heals. Dr. Scott is impressive in his knowledge and compassion. I’m delighted to have Ryan under his care.
So… this means we are at least two more appointments away from any resolution.
For those who live in Northern Virginia, you must know that Dr. Hinkle met Ryan at the appointment today! He was actually filling out paperwork for us when we arrived! He came back with us and participated through the entire examination. Here’s the thing, not only is he incredibly brilliant and skillful, he’s also compassionate, loyal, and humble. I hear this from everyone who see’s him for their eye care. He’s the best.